Augill Castle – Kirkby Stephen, Cumbria
Quirky and delightful, Augill Castle is a Victorian gentleman’s folly in the magnificent Eden Valley. It has all the trappings of a neo-Gothic castle – tower, castellations and mullions – but in miniature. Its wonderfully warm owners, Simon and Wendy Temple-Bennett, rescued it from dereliction and have created an award-winning and very special place to stay. It retains the atmosphere of a family home amid its vast rooms, with large fireplaces and antique furniture. There are 13 charmingly eclectic bedrooms, plus suites and cottages spread across the estate. Those in the castle are more traditional – turrets for wardrobes, claw-foot baths, stained glass windows – while the cottages feel more contemporary. The restaurant is headed up by chef Justin Woods, with a casual house menu served Sundays and Mondays, while the Great British Bar champions small distillers, brewers and artisan producers. This is also a splendidly unique place for a wedding: you have the castle to yourself and there’s no formula. Simon also gives a fascinatingly honest glimpse of life at Augill in his books, Undressed for Dinner and Stop for Breakfast (Hayloft, £12).
Rates: Rooms from £180 B&B
+44 (0)1768 341937; stayinacastle.com
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